WASHINGTON (JTA) — A claim by Iranian television that an alleged spy had an Israeli passport appears to be based on a forgery.
Majid Jamali Fashi, who was hanged May 15 by Iranian authorities, had been accused of killing an Iranian nuclear scientist with a remote-controlled bomb attached to a motorcycle outside the scientist’s home.
Following the hanging, Iranian TV released an image of an Israeli passport with Fashi’s photo, saying it proved that Fashi was an agent for Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency.
A number of bloggers questioned the authenticity of the passport.
Emanuele Ottolenghi of Commentary magazine noted this week that Fashi is looking away from the camera in the alleged passport and that he appears to be an adult.
The passport has a 2003 issue date when Fashi would have been 15.
In a follow-up, the Harry’s place blog says that the facsimile displayed by Iranian TV shares exact details with a facsimile of an Israeli passport available through Wikipedia: Both were issued on Nov. 17, 2003 in Netanya.